Osteoarthritis [OA], also known as degenerative joint disease, is a chronic condition of a joint or joints that affects people of all ages, but is most commonly found in men and women over the age of 65. Seniors with osteoarthritis experience pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced ranges of motion, primarily in the knees, hips, low back, neck, hands and feet.
OA is a result of diminished cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is the rubbery tissue found at the ends of bones that provides a cushion between the joint and keeps movements smooth and fluid. When the cartilage wears away, it presents challenges with motion and mobility, and uncomfortable symptoms arise.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Common risk factors [for OA] include increasing age, obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles, and genes.”*
There is no cure for OA, but treatments for symptom are available. Long-term management of the disease is implemented to manage symptoms of pain, stiffness and swelling, improve mobility and flexibility, maintain healthy body weight, and increase exercise.
One of the best ways to manage the effects of OA is through movement and exercise. In as much as exercising the body with sore, painful joints is not necessarily a pleasant thought, exercises like walking and participation in low-impact fitness classes, such as water aerobics, can actually reduce pain and aid in weight management.
“Improve Your Health for a Better Self!” That is the theme of the 23rd Annual Senior Health & Fitness Day, Wednesday, May 25th. What a great opportunity to get seniors moving to improve their health, as well as manage, improve and/or prevent osteoarthritis!
As many as 100,000 seniors will participate in fun events across the country to commemorate Senior Health and Fitness Day. For more details about scheduled events in the Clearwater area, or for more information about osteoarthritis and how companion care can assist you or those you love who suffer from the disease, contact the professional caregivers at Home Helpers today: 727-942-2539.